Organic Seed Alliance is thrilled to welcome two new faces to our organization! Brijette Peña has joined our Board of Directors and Melony Edwards recently joined our research team as a contractor. Here’s a little background on them:
Melony Edwards is a first-generation farmer whose ancestors traveled north after emancipation in the journey known as the Great Migration for a better life away from the fields of sorrow that they had grown to know. After completing degrees in culinary arts and hospitality, and working in all facets of foodservice, Edwards began wondering, “Where does our food come from? And why are there no visible Black farmers at the local farmers market?” Edwards found that gaining access to entry-level farming training in the rural landscape was exclusive, but she was determined to learn agricultural skills outside of her urban setting.
Edwards’ journey of reclaiming farming landed her on a 20-acre mixed vegetable farm on rural Whidbey Island where she immersed herself in small-scale agricultural practices. There, Edwards spent three years advancing to farm manager. Now her farming adventures continue as she pursues her own farm vision in launching Ebony By Nature, a fiber farm, and extending her knowledge in seed growing and saving. Melony will be assisting our research team in continued partnership with Viva Farms on developing opportunities in the seed industry for the Latinx and Black farming community. She will also be involved with OSA’s development and writing of a much-anticipated seed processing manual.
Brijette Peña is the owner and founder of the San Diego Seed Company. Her experience in the seed industry and her connection to the farming and gardening community in Southern California brings a tremendous asset to our Board of Directors and the organization as a whole. Along with San Deigo Seed Company, Brijette and her husband also own Brisa Farm, which focuses on small-batch seed production and grower education. Her farm hosts a three-day urban farming course with an emphasis on understanding the importance of regional seed systems and an introduction to seed saving. Brijette is honored to serve on the OSA board and hopes to provide valuable insight as a small seed company in an urban setting.